Bank of the West Classic Preview – Angelique Kerber v Elina Svitolina

Both Angelique Kerber and Elina Svitolina had to fight hard in their quarter finals matches after losing the first set but both players are in the semi-finals after a couple of epic battles last night with Svitolina three points away from going out down at 4-6 4-5 however she went on to win 8 of the next 9 games to win in three sets.

I haven’t seen the full match of Kerber/Radwanska due to it being on at a 2am UK time however the highlights show it to be a brilliant match between the two players and another big win for Kerber who has had to beat tough opponents in Gavrilova, Konjuh and now Aga.

I watched a bit of Svitolina v Riske on my phone last night. I was impressed again with Svitolina she made her presence count on the court it unsettled Riske when she served for the match the Ukrainian showed great fighting spirit and deserved the win. At only 20 years old Svitolina is one of the rising stars on the WTA tour with 3 titles to her name however she isn’t spoken the same as Bouchard, Keys, Bencic, Muguruza etc… even though she has probably been the most consistent over the last 20 months. She may not have been in a major final yet but she is consistent on the tour and well on her way to achieving that.

This will be the 5th meeting between Svitolina and Kerber. The first two meetings in 2013 and 2014 Kerber won however the last two in Wuhan last year and Brisbane this year Svitolina has won all of their matches have been on hard courts as well!

I think this is set to be another classic match. You have two players who are quite similar in styles, both are very good defenders and can make epic shots however I do think Kerber has the edge. I previewed her match against Agnieszka Radwanska and I described her tennis at times as ‘video game tennis’ some of the shots she can make are nothing less than incredible and we have seen her very best fighting tennis this week.

There aren’t many players I can say have defended against Kerber really well and managed to get up the court. Garbine Muguruza put on an incredible performance to beat her at Wimbledon however errors from Kerber did help but still the Spaniard hung in there and took her chances which Svitolina has to do, you can’t camp at the back of the court against probably one of the best baseline players on the tour and hope to win.

This is where I hate making a prediction. I like both players and tournament success for both would showcase what a great year they are having on the tour. Despite how well Svitolina is playing I have to go with Kerber to win and if she wins this I expect her to go on and win the title on Sunday.


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